A SCOUT leader and police officer has heaped praise on his group, which has been awarded the highest voluntary honour possible.

Sgt Daniel Parsons, a road policing sergeant, is the group scout leader for the 3rd Chalkwell Bay Sea Scouts based in Old Leigh.

The group has been awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group an receive in the UK, and the equivalent to the MBE for voluntary organisations.

Two other officers – PC Matt Ayling, also from the commercial vehicle unit, and PC Peter Jacob, a response officer on Canvey – are also involved in the running of the group.

Mr Ayling is the assistant group scout leader and PC Jacob is an assistant scout leader.

They are part of a team of around 100 adults who run the sea scouts and oversee around 250 young people.

The announcement is part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours Announcement. While the personal awards have been deferred the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service has not been delayed and comes during National Volunteers Week.

Mr Parsons said: “I was sea scout when I was young and then got involved as an adult.

"I have volunteered with The Scout Association for more than 20 years and took on the role of group scout leader about 18 months ago.

“The Queens Award for Voluntary Service is such a huge honour and means we’ve been recognised nationally.

“It comes with an amount of kudos but really represents the hard work of everyone involved to give young people an enjoyable and worthwhile experience, improving their teamwork and leadership.

“Volunteering is such a rewarding thing to do. I enjoyed my time as a sea scout so much that I wanted to give something back.

“To see the young people who come through our doors develop not just their practical skills, but also see them grow as socially responsible people is really rewarding.

“I would say to anyone who was considering volunteering in any capacity, if you can spare even a few hours a week doing it you will get so much out of it and you’ll helping others.

“If you are in Leigh an would like to find out more about 3rd Chalkwell Bay or volunteer please visit our website."

Go to www.3rdcb.org.uk/join/adult-volunteers.